Training your dental team to effectively use your practice management software isn't always as simple as a quick tutorial. Here's why your team needs ongoing training and how to appropriately implement it.
Why Should You Provide Ongoing Software Training for Your Employees
Ongoing dental practice management software training is important for your employees for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
Dental Practice Management Software is Continually Updating
Most dental practice management software programs are updated frequently. Bugs are fixed, new features are added, and other small changes are made without completely overhauling the program. Despite not being enough to require a new version of the software, these changes can catch employees off guard, leading to additional challenges for your team. It's important that your staff know when to expect updates to your practice management program and how those updates may change or improve the way they work.
New Employees Need Training on Current Software
Naturally, new employees need to be trained to use your dental practice's management program. When you are continually training your existing staff on the finer details of your practice management software, it becomes easier to train new team members as well. Both existing staff and new additions are being trained in the same version of the software, ensuring that your entire practice is on the same page.
Advanced Features Help Your Practice Get the Most for Your Money
Often, the real bang for your buck is in the advanced features of your dental practice management software. High-level features take more time to learn than the basics, and not everyone in your practice is going to be a good fit to become this type of "superuser." However, as your staff gets more familiar with your software programs, foundational skills become ingrained and it may be easier to work on mastering more complex processes within the software.
Office Protocols May Need to be Tweaked as Employees Give Feedback
It can be difficult for you to be fully aware of all the capabilities of your dental practice management program, simply because you use certain software differently from your hygienists and your administrative staff. Allow your employees to provide feedback on what makes their jobs easier (and what doesn't), especially when you implement new software. Take this feedback into account, tweak any processes needed, and update your staff on what is different now and why.
How to Implement Ongoing Dental Practice Management Software Training
You may agree with the importance of ongoing software training but lack the knowledge to implement applicable protocols within your dental practice. Consider:
Retraining All Employees When a Major Software Update Rolls Out
When a big software update is made to your dental practice management program, retrain your employees on how to use the software. Not only does this give your team the opportunity to learn about new ways to use the software, but it also helps them brush up on skills that they may have lost over time.
Following Up Four to Six Weeks After Initial Training
After you train a new employee or retrain your staff after a new update, check-in with them in a few weeks to see how they are adapting. Is your new employee functioning well within the program? Are your current employees keeping up with the changes to the software, or do they still find themselves doing things the way they did before the update? Checking in with your team allows you to nip any problems in the bud before they get out of control.
Providing "Refresher Courses" Every Six Months or so
As a rule, it's a good idea to retrain or refresh your dental team on your practice management software about every six months. This keeps the skills sharp amongst your hygienists, dental assistants, associates, and administrative staff, so they can be easily recalled and used. If every six months doesn't feel achievable for your practice, consider refreshing your staff on how to use the software at least annually.
Ready to Get On Board with Ongoing Software Training? Use the Resources Available to You
There are many resources available to help you implement ongoing software training with your dental team. First, consult your IT provider. They should be able to work with you to develop a training program for new and existing employees and can give you ideas on how to keep your employees abreast of updates and changes to the program. Encourage your employees to spend time learning how to use your dental practice management software and reward them when they succeed!
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